City employees recognized for work during 2018 Thames River flooding
Rising waters and high voltage equipment can be a catastrophic combination, now Londoners are learning about a small group of municipal employees who went above and beyond during February’s flooding of the Thames River.
That group has been recognized with a provincial award for their handling of the flooding that put much of London underwater and saw the city put into practice years of planning for a natural disaster.
Val Morgado, manager of Facilities Operations and Maintenance for the City of London, says “It could have been catastrophic…There is some safety built into the equipment that would help in a potential failure, but there is always the unknown with electricity.”
During the flood, Morgado's team isolated all the electricity running to the flooded area to ensure public safety.
Then when the waters subsided, they worked closely with the Electrical Safety Authority to assess damage and replace broken equipment with minimal disruption to city services.
Last week at city hall the Electrical Safety Authority presented a provincial award for worker safety to the department, saluting their ongoing maintenance plan and their response to the flood.
While London's Facilities Operations and Maintenance Department usually does its work behind the scenes - keeping the public safe and services operating-- there's a sense of pride attached to the recognition of their efforts when disaster struck.
“It was quite the honour. It was unexpected and I’m very proud of my staff for all they've done to achieve it,” Morgado says.